Every now and then a week goes by when I can’t get out to a cultural event. That’s when I turn to my inbox to find out what local organizations are up to. This weekend, there’s so much to choose from!


A controversy has bubbled up over at City Garage, the theatre at Bergamot Art Station. The U.S. premiere of “Right Left with Heels,” a controversial play from Poland by writer Sebastian Majewski, tells the story of post-war Poland from the perspective of a pair of high heel shoes that once belonged to Magda Goebbels, wife of the Nazi Propaganda Minister. The shoes are made from the skin of an Auschwitz victim.

It’s a provocative commentary on the rise of the new right in Poland, in Europe and right here at home. The author will be present for the opening weekend (July 8-10) to engage in post-performance conversations with the audience.

Poland is a nation with a dark history of anti-Semitism. The Polish Consulate is not providing support for the play, which City Garage says they originally offered, claiming that they pulled out because the play does not sit well with the new right-wing Polish government. The Consulate declared it never offered support.

The opening night gala benefit offers catering by the Polish restaurant Solidarity (formerly known as Warszawa) and includes priority seating, champagne, vodka and the opportunity to meet the playwright. Tickets are only $50.

Visit http://citygarage.org for tickets and further information.

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga (an outdoor amphitheater perfect for summer evenings) is offering the master of French farce Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid,” in which a hypochondriac tests his family’s love, trying to force his daughter to marry a doctor so he can get free medical care-the health care crisis of an earlier century. A fresh and hilarious adaptation by Constance Congdon. Opens on Saturday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m., with select Saturday and Sunday performances through Oct. 2. More info and tickets at www.theatricum.com.

On Sunday, July 10 at 2 p.m., Santa Monica Rep’s popular play reading series continues at the Edye (the smaller theatre at The Broad Stage) with “The Grapes of Wrath,” Frank Galati’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic novel. Set in the Dust Bowl years, it tackles poverty, income equality and the working poor, presented with live music. For tickets and additional info, visit http://www.thebroadstage.com or call (310) 434-3200. Tickets only $25.


Wondering what to do with the kids now that school’s out? Check out the Getty Center in Brentwood for family centered activities, including Garden Concerts for kids, ArtLab workshops with hands-on projects, Family Art Stops offering in-depth looks at single artworks, and more fun with the Getty’s clever Art Detective cards.

And at the Getty Villa in Malibu, travel back in time to the age of mythical monsters and heroes with Art Odyssey for Families, including gallery tours and hands-on activities, like making paper mosaics, plus Family Drawing Hour: Monsters and Superheroes this Saturday and others through the summer. www.getty.edu.

The Skirball Cultural Center has a full range of family activities, too. The Sounds of Our City is a concert series in the Skirball’s outdoor amphitheatre, and this Saturday, July 9 at noon and 2 p.m., enjoy Mostly Kosher, an indie-global LA-based collective featuring post-klezmer beats and a mix of jazz, Latin, rock, hip-hop, world and folk music.

Or try Dig It! Archeology Adventures, at the outdoor field laboratory with the archeological staff to find ancient artifacts buried beneath the sand. Weigh, measure and examine the findings then analyze the clues to piece together the story of an ancient Iron Age town. And kids can still explore the much-loved Noah’s Ark and lots more. Visit www.skirball.org for complete details.


This is a great excuse to hop on the Expo Line in case you haven’t tried it yet.

The all new LA Food Fest is actually three events in one over three nights and two full days, featuring 100+ food and beverage vendors and multiple award-winning chefs participating in the ultimate celebration of LA food on July 8, 9 and 10 at Exposition Park (the train lets you off right there).

This family-friendly Fest features charity partner Peace4Kids’ Mobile Village Kitchen as the live culinary stage featuring chef demos, live podcasts and more, a “food porn” cinema with sneak peeks at summer hits “Sausage Party” and “Lights Out,” an Artisanal LA Farm Shop featuring more than thirty unique made in LA vendors, VIP lounges, live music, sets from KCRW DJ Anne Litt and PRI’s Betto Arcos, and a Kids Zone presented by Barnsdall Art Park.

Attendees will find LA’s best ice cream, gumbo, burgers, waffles, donuts, ramen and more all in one location. In addition to sampling, there’s a Rose Garden Pop Up featuring such restaurant stars as the Manzkes of République, Venice chef Nyesha Arrington (Leona), Bruce Kalman of Union and Knead, Carlos Enriquez of Superba in Venice, and many more. A beer and wine garden and craft cocktails round it all out

Tickets start at just $15 and go up to $150 for the sit down meals. Find out more at http://lafoodfest.com.

Sarah A. Spitz spent her career as a producer at public radio station KCRW-Santa Monica and produced freelance arts reports for NPR. She has also written features and reviews for various print and online publications. Email her at culturewatch@www.smdp.com.